New Teachers At Rector Schools

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Joel Boyd and Melinda Van Aalsburg

Two familiar faces have accepted new roles in both Rector High and Elementary Schools. Art teacher Joel Boyd and Music instructor Melinda Van Aalsburg are no strangers to the Rector School District, yet both are in the first year of new positions with the school which have them working with students in k-12.

Melinda Van Aalsburg has been involved in the Rector music program since moving to the area four years ago. Working alongside her husband Daniel, the district's band director, in recent years has given her a familiarity with the faculty and many of the students. She has worked as a substitute teacher in addition to helping with each band project, in addition to sponsoring the RHS color guard last year.

In her new role, Van Aalsburg works with students at each grade level in learning about music as an art form.

"I substituted for the past three years and have been involved with band during that time, too," Van Aalsburg said. "Now, having the opportunity to work with students in each grade has been exciting. I'm really enjoying working with the elementary students a lot. I've known most of the kids I'm seeing in class in high school for years, but I've been getting to know the younger kids more."

Van Aalsburg says she approaches each class differently. By adjusting the approach and curriculum by divisions made based on grade level, she says she's found a method to work for each class.

"What works in high school will not necessarily translate to working with elementary students. I try to approach each class in a way that makes it interesting for everyone."

Van Aalsburg is a 2003 graduate of Nixa High School in Nixa, Mo. She graduated from ASU with a degree in Music Education in 2008. This past summer, she completed her Master's in Library Science from the University of Central Missouri.

A 2006 RHS graduate, Joel Boyd is happy to be teaching in his home town of Rector where he stood out for his works in the theatre and art departments. Boyd is a 2010 graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has had numerous works displayed throughout the country, earning particular praise for his work in painting.

Having his first nine weeks as a teacher behind him, Boyd says each day presents new experiences and joys.

"I'm very happy to be teaching here in Rector. At first, I was a little apprehensive about teaching students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. I quickly realized I enjoy working with the whole spectrum. In elementary, the students are high energy and when they start to put that into their art, it's really just a great deal of fun. In high school, you see the students begin to develop more as artists and they begin to develop more. It's all very rewarding."

A typical day may see Boyd using crayons and markers with his elementary students after a morning of paints and other advanced tools with his high school classes. The variety is something the talented artist/teacher enjoys.

"I enjoy art in all forms, so the opportunity to use different styles in elementary and high school is fun for me," Boyd said. "By doing so, I think it also makes it more enjoyable for the students because it allows them to be more creative, as well."

Boyd and his wife Christina have two children. Their son, Jack, is 18-months-old and the family just welcomed newborn daughter Lexi Joy.

"I'm excited for my family to have the opportunity to be a part of the community here and have this in their life the way that I have. It's nice to be home."

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